BRADENTON, Fla. – FC Cincinnati played to a 1-1 draw against D.C. United tonight at the IMG Academy Soccer Complex. Nazmi Albadawi scored the equalizing goal for Cincinnati with less than 10 minutes to play as the Orange and Blue remain unbeaten through three preseason matches. The match was FC Cincinnati’s third preseason game of the 2019 Major League Soccer Preseason presented by Advocare.

After Cincinnati was held without a goal for the first 80 minutes of the match, a stretch of successful passes in the attacking third allowed Emmanuel Ledesma to gain possession of the ball at the top of the 18-yard box. Ledesma played a through ball into the penalty area to Albadawi who slotted a right-footed shot past Chris Seitz for FC Cincinnati’s lone tally of the evening.

Goalkeeper Przemysław Tytoń was called into action a number of in the first 20 minutes and made a multitude of saves to hold D.C. United without a goal. Midfielder/forward Luciano Acosta, however, put D.C. on the board in the 21st minute with a shot from 30 yards out that curled around the defense and inside the left post.

Cincinnati opened the second half with three changes as Spencer Richey, Frankie Amaya and Emmanuel Ledesma replaced Tyton, Eric Alexander and Rashawn Dally. The Orange and Blue made eight additional changes in the 61st minutes of the match as the second group played the final 30 minutes of the contest.

The Orange and Blue will return to Cincinnati on Saturday, Feb. 9. FC Cincinnati will have its next preseason scrimmage at Indy Eleven at the Grand Park Sports Campus in Westfield, Ind. on Tuesday, Feb. 12

FC Cincinnati’s debut MLS game will be at Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday, March 2, at CenturyLink Field. The Orange and Blue will make its home debut as an MLS team at Nippert Stadium on Sunday, March 17, when the team hosts MLS Cup finalist Portland Timbers at 5 p.m. Season tickets, mini plans and individual-game tickets are on sale at fccincinnati.com/tickets or by calling 513-977-5425 (KICK).

For up-to-the-minute information about FC Cincinnati, visit the team’s official website at fccincinnati.com, or follow the team on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @FCCincinnati. For more information about FC Cincinnati tickets, call 513-977-KICK (5425) or visit //fccincinnati.com/tickets.

MLS Preseason
FC Cincinnati 1, D.C. United 1
IMG Academy Soccer Complex | Bradenton, Fla.
Thursday, February 7, 2019

DC – Luciano Acosta (unassisted) 21’

CIN – Nazmi Albadawi (Emmanuel Ledesma) 81’

FC Cincinnati (First Half): Przemysław Tytoń, Roland Lamah, Nick Hagglund, Caleb Stanko, Mathieu Deplagne, Alvas Powell, Victor Ulloa, Eric Alexander, Alan Cruz, Rashawn Dally, Fanendo Adi ©

FC Cincinnati (Second Half): Spencer Richey, Roland Lamah (Blake Smith 60’), Nick Hagglund (Forrest Lasso 60’), Caleb Stanko (Justin Hoyte © 60’), Mathieu Deplagne (Hassan Ndam 60’), Alvas Powell (Logan Gdula 60’), Victor Ulloa (Tommy McCabe 60’), Frankie Amaya, Alan Cruz (Nazmi Albadawi 60’), Emmanuel Ledesma, Fanendo Adi (Corben Bone 60’)

Bench: Jimmy Hague

D.C. United (First Half): Bill Hamid, Joseph Mora, Steve Birnbaum, Frédéric Brillant, Leonardo Jara, Júnior Moreno, Russell Canouse, Zoltán Stieber, Luciano Acosta, Paul Arriola, Ulises Segura

D.C. United (Second Half): Chris Seitz, Akeem Ward, Donovan Pines, Jalen Robinson, Chris Durkin, Trialist A, Trialist B, Trialist C, Trialist D, Trialist E, Trialist F (Wayne Rooney 63’)


DC – Trialist D (caution) 85’

Weather: 71 degrees, clear


  • Today’s game featured Spencer Richey’s first 2019 preseason appearance
  • Nazmi Albadawi scored his first goal of the preseason … The Raleigh, N.C., native registered a secondary assist on Forrest Lasso’s goal against Colorado on Saturday, Feb. 2
  • The Orange and Blue played in a 3-5-2 formation for a second consecutive match … FCC played in a 4-3-3 formation in its first preseason match
  • Fanendo Adi wore the captain’s armband in the first half. After Adi exited the match, Justin Hoyte took over as captain for the final 30 minutes of play

FCC Head Coach Alan Koch
On the team’s performance in each half

“I think D.C. were a lot better than us tonight in the first 45 minutes. They were comfortable, they were composed, they possessed the ball very well, they broke us down. I think it was a very, very difficult first 45 minutes. I think we had a good chat with the guys at halftime in terms of ‘how do you manage those situations?’ You don’t go quiet, you don’t stop communicating, you don’t stop problem solving and I think in those 45 minutes, the guys started feeling a little bit sorry for themselves during the course of that game. To be fair to that group, we addressed a couple things and the first 15 minutes in the second half were a lot, lot better. So, we saw a very positive response from them in the first 15 minutes of the second half. And then I think the group that played the second half played fantastically. They imposed themselves on D.C. and controlled the game and I’m very, very happy for that group that they scored and got ourselves back into the game.”

On if he was happy with how the team played for its final match at IMG Academy

“I think we still have a lot of work to do in terms of how we want to play. We’re pretty much where we thought we’d be at this stage. We’ve still got four games to go from a preparation perspective. To expect to be at a very, very good place after three games with a new group I think would be expecting the stars. I just said to the guys in the change room, this is a great reality check for us tonight, because it’s been a fun two weeks where we’ve pushed the guys. They’ve worked really hard. We hung on and tied Montreal, we beat Colorado, not that results mean anything. But, in the first 45 minutes tonight, if that was a league game, we could’ve been 3-0 down. So, it’s a great reality check to have that with a few weeks to go in our preparation. On the flipside, I said to the guys, ‘We’re a new group, we haven’t played together, it’s going to take time to come together’ and I tip my hat off to them. I said ‘you played three teams in the league, those three teams have been together for a long time, and we didn’t lose to any of them.’ Results don’t mean anything, but that shows a group that’s willing to come together and fight for each other, so we’ve gained a lot from this trip.”

On where he felt there were breakdowns in the first half

“I’d say managing the half spaces. I think D.C. did a very, very good job of getting into those spaces and breaking lines and we didn’t do a good job of managing that. We spoke to the guys at halftime and they got it, they [saw] it. I think that’s the big bonus. If we’re going in and trying to address things at halftime and they don’t see it, then we’re speaking a foreign language. But, the guys saw it and I think they came out and they rectified it in the second half through the first 15 minutes that they played together.”

FCC Midfielder Nazmi Albadawi
On his goal

“Logan (Gdula) played a ball into Corben (Bone) who had a good ball to me. I was actually trying to head it back to Corben and then I think it ended up going to Manu (Ledesma) and then Manu slipped me in with a good pass. I saw the goalkeeper come out, it kind of flashed through my head pretty quickly. I remember a couple guys went for the chip, so I figured I’d try to put it on the ground this time and thankfully, it went in.”

On being able to equalize after trailing for a large part of the match

“I know it’s preseason, but no one likes to lose, right? We always want to win. As individuals, as a club, we always want to win. It’s not about the result, but we’re still competitors so of course we don’t want to lose. The second half, I thought we were playing very well as a team. First group and second group I thought did really well in the second half and I think we deserved a goal.”

On if he has seen progress through preseason on both an individual and team level

“Of course, for myself I’m just trying to keep working hard and keep helping the team out in any way I can. For the team, you can see now, there is a lot of understanding about the concepts that coach wants and that our coaching staff asks from us. It’s been fun being with this group, we’re all really good guys. We still have three weeks before the season begins, so we still have a lot of work to do, especially being a brand-new team. Most MLS teams have most of their players returning. This is a brand-new group of guys, we have to remember that, but we’re working together, we’re having fun with each other, and we want to win. We don’t want to come out slow, we want to start the season off strong, so we’re working hard.”